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    IMCA offers guidance on travel security in the offshore industry

    News // September 14, 2006

    The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has produced guidance for its members on trabel security.

    As IMCA noted in a recent statement, inevitably in the modern world, personnel involved in travelling, both domestically and internationally, are exposed to dangerous and stressful situations. Although these cannot be totally avoided, the effects can be reduced if the risks are identified and assessed within pre-travel planning, accompanied by staff awareness training.

    With this in mind, the Security Task Force, formed last year by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) in order to address a number of security-related issues and develop initiatives to benefit the industry, has published ‘Guidance on Travel Security’ to assist with the safety of personnel in transit to vessels and work sites. The Association has also produced a handy pocket card that summarises key points from the guidance document.

    “The new publication can be used to help individual travellers, or as guidance for developing company security procedures,” explained IMCA’s Chief Executive, Hugh Williams. “Unfortunately, there can rarely, if ever, be a zero risk area in the world. It is up to each of us to do our best to reduce security risks wherever we are going, and this new publication and the accompanying pocket card will act as extremely useful memory joggers, for the experienced traveller, but in other instances give a fresh slant on sensible procedure.”

    ‘Guidance on Travel Safety’ looks at travel planning, assessing travel risk, identification and passport, credit cards and currency, emergency information, emergency situations, hotels, legal issues, precautions when travelling and general medical guidance.

    Within the ‘precautions when travelling’ section it covers general precautions, hotel safety, street safety, transport safety (flights, car hire and driving cars), emergency response communications, and kidnap – both ‘express kidnap’ and kidnap and ransom.

    The Security Task Force’s top ten tips for safe travel from the 150 or so contained in the publication and the 30 on the pocket safety card:

    • Stay alert
    • Look after your passport – it is your most valuable possession when travelling internationally. Keep it and any air tickets in a safe place and keep a photocopy and spare photographs with you
    • Avoid drawing attention to yourself
    • Travel light
    • Arrive and depart in the morning where possible
    • Take a simple rubber door wedge with you
    • Use simple ‘burglar alarms’ like a metal tray against a door
    • Unpredictability is a good defence against kidnap
    • Keep a list of key contacts easily accessible
    • Remember – possessions are replaceable, you are not!

    Some of these are proof that the simplest of steps can help keep travellers safe.

    Copies of the ‘Guidance on Travel Safety’ (IMCA SEL 014) are available from IMCA at at £5.00 for members and £10.00 for non-members.

    Members can also download it from the members-only section of the website.

    The Security Task Force is now working on guidance for the verification of third party personnel; guidance on threat risk assessment in respect of security issues; a guide to the ISPS code, designed to assist project personnel who may not be fully familiar with the Code and its requirements; and guidance on a common security audit and format. 

    Further information on the work of the Security Task Force is available from or from and from IMCA at 5 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR.  Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.


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